Friday, 13 January 2006

I think I saw Beauty

I watched "On a tout Essayer" day before yesterday. It's a French show where half a dozen animators discuss current events, politics, new releases etc... It's pretty lively and the banter if full of joke-disguised-truths.

A new author was invited on the show to present her book. Her first one. She'd been sick, discovered Buddhism and decided to share the experience in writing.

Stevie, one of the animators, the one who never has anything listening-worthy to say said the most incredible thing. Incredible in the sense that I wouldn't have thought him capable to coming up with such a point of view. He commented about how down he'd felt after reading the book. Not the whole book, parts of it.
The author writes about how insignificant we are in the face of the whole creation. How absolutamentously nothing we are in the whole universe. Stevie said that he'd never felt as down as when he'd realised the nothinghness of himself. He and his cousins sat and pondered over this fact which had never crossed their minds before and with sagging bodies, they separated and nothing more was added. He said thanks but no thanks to the author for spoiling his day. The audience laughed, his fellow animators congratulated him on the very profound comment.

Somehow, I thought of Kahlil Gibran's lines

"You would know in words that which you have always known in thought"

Two or Three months ago, with my sisters and our friend M, I had gone to visit Mauritius tiny cousin called "L'Ile au Cerfs". It was grand. We had a real good time. That's not what I want to talk about here. I had never para-sailed before. This was a not-to-be-missed occasion.

I flew. I soared. I went so high. I was so blissfully happy. I was uncomprehendingly sad. Mixed emotions. Hard to understand. Here I was, flying, grinning from ear to ear, thinking that it was a pity that no birds were about, flying with me, alone, I should have been just happy.

I looked down at the sea, she looked green. Beautiful green. Rocks and I don't know what else looking black under her. I noted the contrast between the opacity of the rocks and the transparent limpidity of the water.

I looked up at the sky. Regret for not being high enough to brush the clouds filled my heart. I thought I saw an elephant there, a pink blue elephant. This made me giggle, the Child in me and me winked at each other. The Sun was blindingly bright. I didn't dare stare.

In the distance, I could see speed boats. Tourists or locals? I asked myself. It didn't matter and the thought didn't last long. I took a deep breath. It felt like my first breath. So pure, so thick, so lung filling. I looked down again and was surprised to realise that I felt like crying. I wanted to cry. I wondered what it would feel like to have the sea enveloping me. I don't swim. Yeah, shame on me. Living on an Island at that. At this precise moment, the fear of the sea deserted me. The boat I was tied to slowed down. I came down slow. I wasn't scared. I felt I was watching myself descending. The coldness of the water caught me by surprise. I strained to soak my feet. The water splashed over my legs. I had a little of it over my face and my spectacles got wet. I took them off and furiously dried the water on my t-shirt. I wanted to see it all. To take it all in. this immensity. The greenness of the sea and the blueness of the sky. I tasted salt on my lips. Tears or sea water? The greatness of my surrounding just overwhelmed me. I felt so small, so insignificant; I marvelled and basked into the beauty of His creation and thought to myself:
“And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever flight.”

“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.”


Neil said...

It doesn't sound like you had a moment of fear in parasailing. Was it scary at all?

Fitèna said...

Nah! Absolutely not Neil. I was the first to be surprised by that. I've always had this scare of heights, even in movies (that bad). So this experience not scaring me is something am still pondering over. I guess its just that you get so taken up by the beauty of it all from up there tat there's no room for any other emotion.


suleyman said...

I like this new design.

Wonderful post. You express yourself in English better than so many people I know.

I've never been up that high without something under my feet. Just reading your post made my palms sweaty, which is how I always get when I'm high up.


suleyman said...


I wish Suleyman were my real name, but sadly it's just my nic.


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